President Donald Trump urged supporters to “LIBERATE” three states led by Democratic governors today, apparently endorsing the growing protests against the stay-at-home restrictions aimed at stopping the coronavirus.
A day after laying out a roadmap to gradually reopen the crippled economy, Mr Trump took to Twitter with the kind of rhetoric some of his supporters have used in demanding the lifting of the orders that have thrown millions of Americans out of work.
Gov Cuomo “should spend more time ‘doing’ and less time ‘complaining’,” the president said.
Responding to pleas from governors for help from Washington in ramping up testing for the virus, Mr Trump put the burden back on them: “The States have to step up their TESTING!”
Mr Trump has repeatedly expressed his desire to see businesses reopen quickly and claimed earlier this week that he possesses total authority over the matter, even though the lockdowns and other social-distancing measures have been imposed by state and local leaders, not Washington.
On Thursday, the president detailed a three-step set of guidelines for easing restrictions over a span of several weeks in places that have robust testing and are seeing a decrease in COVID-19 cases, assuring the nation’s governors: “You’re going to call your own shots”.
How governors have responded
Governors of both parties today suggested they would be cautious in returning to normal, with some of them warning that they can’t do it without help from Washington to expand testing.
Michigan Gov Gretchen Whitmer, a Democrat who has been critical of the government’s response to the crisis, said that she hopes to begin reopening parts of the state’s economy May 1, but that it would be done in “smart way” to avoid a second wave of infections.
West Virginia Gov Jim Justice, a Republican ally of Mr Trump’s, endorsed the White House plan but made clear that he will listen to medical experts in deciding how to move forward.
He said more testing is needed before any restrictions can be rolled back.
“I am not going to do something that I feel in my heart is the wrong thing that’s going to endanger our people,” he said.
Other states did take some of the nation’s first, small steps toward loosening restrictions.
In Florida, GOP Gov Ron DeSantis gave the green light for municipalities to reopen beaches and parks if they can do so safely.
In Texas, Republican Gov Greg Abbott said stores can begin selling curbside, nonessential surgery can resume and state parks can reopen.
Gov Cuomo, whose state is the most lethal hotspot in the nation and is still seeing over 600 deaths a day, accused the government of “passing the buck without passing the bucks”.
“The federal government cannot wipe its hands of this and say, ‘Oh, the states are responsible for testing’. We cannot do it. We cannot do it without federal help,” he said.
Worldwide, the outbreak has infected nearly 2.2 million people and killed over 145,000, according to a Johns Hopkins University tally based on figures supplied by government health authorities around the globe, though it has becoming increasingly clear that the true numbers are much higher.
The official death toll in the US neared 34,000, with more than 670,000 confirmed infections.
The shutdowns have inflicted heavy damage on economies around the world.
In the US, the crisis has cost at least 22 million Americans their jobs, pushing the unemployment rate toward levels not seen since the Great Depression.
Coronavirus: what you need to know
How is coronavirus transmitted?
The human coronavirus is only spread from someone infected with COVID-19 to another. This occurs through close contact with an infected person through contaminated droplets spread by coughing or sneezing, or by contact with contaminated hands or surfaces.
How can I protect myself and my family?
World Health Organisation and NSW Health both recommend basic hygiene practices as the best way to protect yourself from coronavirus.
Good hygiene includes:
Clean your hands thoroughly for at least 20 seconds with soap and water, or an alcohol-based hand sanitiser;
Cover your nose and mouth when coughing and sneezing with tissue or your elbow;
Avoid close contact with anyone with cold or flu-like symptoms;
Apply safe food practices; and
Stay home if you are sick.
For breaking news alerts and livestreams straight to your smartphone sign up to the9News appand set notifications to on at theApp StoreorGoogle Play.You can also get up-to-date information from the Federal Government’s Coronavirus Australia app, available on the App Store, Google Playand theGovernment’s WhatsApp channel.
Privacy & Cookies Policy
Necessary cookies are absolutely essential for the website to function properly. This category only includes cookies that ensures basic functionalities and security features of the website. These cookies do not store any personal information.
Any cookies that may not be particularly necessary for the website to function and are used specifically to collect user personal data via analytics, ads, other embedded contents are termed as non-necessary cookies. It is mandatory to procure user consent prior to running these cookies on your website.